Medical Lake girls' tennis postseason stay is short
By PAUL DELANEY
The fall was speedy for the Medical Lake girl’s tennis team.
After sharing the regular season Northeast A League championship with Chewelah, the Cardinals’ season came to an end last weekend at West Valley during the 1A/2B/1B district championships.
Both the Cardinals’ two singles entrants, plus their doubles team, lost in first round play and were unable to climb back through the consolation bracket.
“I knew it was going to be a rough first round for us going in as the No. 3 and No. 4’s,” Cardinal head coach Dawn Eliassen said. “That meant that we’d be playing the No. 2 and No.1’s in the first matches.” Katie Larkin was the No. 3 for the Cards and Rachael Hansen No. 4.
Larkin went out against Tracy Melville of Lind/Ritzville/Sprague, the eventual champion, 2-6, 0-6. Hansen fell to eventual runner-up Darby Pierce 2-6, 5-7. “Melville is just a sophomore but has the best footwork of any girl I've seen this season,” Eliassen said.
Hansen’s opening round defeat was followed by a 1-6, 4-6 setback to Cydnee Kieffer of Lind/Ritzville/Sprague which knocked her out of competition. “In the end Kieffer just had too much hustle and consistency, Rachel couldn’t outlast her,” Eliassen said.
Larkin’s day was done with a 0-6, 4-6 loss to Brooklyn Hostetler of Lacrosse/Washtucna. “This was basically like trying to beat a wall,” Eliassen said. “Every ball Katie hit came back to her.”
Amy Ryan and Annette Carlson were the No. 3 doubles seed lost to their Lind/Ritzville/Sprague opponents 2-6, 0-6 but scored a win 6-0, 7-5 over LRS in the first round of the consolation bracket.
“It was your basic case of momentum swing,” Eliassen said. “ It's tough to stay focused when you win a first set 6-0 and the losing team tends to catch a bit of revenge fire and come out strong in the second.”
The two scored a 6-3 win in first set of their third match but lost 3-6, 2-6 and saw their season end.
“It was a disappointing outcome for all of the girls, but two of them are just sophomores and now they have a better idea what it's going to take to make it through the tournament next year,” Eliassen said.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.